fedora silverblue local development setup

How to set up Fedora Silverblue local development

Fedora Silverblue is great for a local web development and setting up a toolbox container is quick and easy.

Before I can use Fedora Silverblue for container-based web development, I have to install a container with toolbox. To get started, I open the terminal and type: toolbox create followed by toolbox enter to enter the container which I have just created. From this point on, I can use the dnf command to update and install pretty much anything I want to.

fedora silverblue local development setup
Fedora Silverblue container image for local web development

If the concept of containers is new to you then check out the official Fedora Silverblue toolbox documentation which explains creating, accessing and exiting containers. With that out of the way, let’s look at installing the software I use for a basic web development setup.

I use VSCodium for coding and GIMP for preparing images. VSCodium can be downloaded from the official website by first importing the GPG key for the repository.
sudo rpmkeys –import https://gitlab.com/paulcarroty/vscodium-deb-rpm-repo/-/raw/master/pub.gpg

After that, I can add the repository by entering the following string into the terminal:
printf “[gitlab.com_paulcarroty_vscodium_repo]\nname=download.vscodium.com\nbaseurl=https://download.vscodium.com/rpms/\nenabled=1\ngpgcheck=1\nrepo_gpgcheck=1\ngpgkey=https://gitlab.com/paulcarroty/vscodium-deb-rpm-repo/-/raw/master/pub.gpg\nmetadata_expire=1h” | sudo tee -a /etc/yum.repos.d/vscodium.repo

With the repository added, VSCodium can be installed by issuing the standard Fedora DNF command:
sudo dnf install codium

For the most current instructions visit the official VSCodium website because the repository listing gets constant updates which means that the link I provided will eventually get replaced.

GIMP is already in the repository so dnf install gimp is all that’s needed.

Install PHP on Fedora Silverblue

Because there are various ways to install PHP, I suggest to once again refer to the official Fedora Developer portal which lists all the steps needed in order to install PHP but if you just need the command then this will do just fine: sudo dnf install php-cli
Please remember that all of this is done inside the container which I entered with “toolbox enter”.

With the first container created and PHP as well as VSCodium and GIMP installed I am ready to install a local web server in Fedora Silverblue.

A few months ago, I bought PHP in easy steps by Mike McGrath from Amazon. After a short introduction to the PHP language, the author recommends the installation of the Abyss server. At first, I ignored his advise but once I checked out the Abyss web server, I was impressed and downloaded the Linux version from aprelium.com/downloads

Aprelium’s documentation is well written and easy to follow. I downloaded the free version (X1) and will most likely upgrade to their pro version which costs only USD$59.95.

How to start the Abyss web server on Fedora Silverblue

I downloaded the Abyss abwsx1.tgz package into my Downloads directory and extracted the contents to a new directory which defaulted to abwsx1 and had a sub directory inside called abyssws. Time to start the server.
I opened a terminal inside the abyssws directory and typed ./abyssws (that is dot forward slash abyssws) which gave me access to configure the local server environment. Here is a screenshot of the Abyss configuration page.

abyss web server console fedora silverblue
Abyss Web Server Console running on Fedora Silverblue

In order to write PHP code, I had to declare the interpreter which is documented on the aprelium.com/abyssws website and takes about a minute. After restating the server, I created an info.php file and upon pointing the web browser to the info.php file which is located at, the info displayed as expected.

Just like XAMPP, the Abyss web server also uses the htdocs directory to store the projects and from that point on it’s just writing and saving PHP code and watching the updates in the browser.


The Abyss web server is much easier to configure than XAMPP and the small footprint is ideal for being deployed inside a container. The documentation is up-to-date and well written. Best of all, Aprelium provides the X1 version for free and is available for Windows, OS X as well.

If you want to use Fedora Silverblue for local web development then yes, it is possible. There are a few ways to set up a development environment but I found that the Abyss web server X1 is all I need to work on WordPress and custom PHP sites. Depending on the complexity of a project, I can install additional containers as needed and the more I use Fedora Silverblue, the more I like it. Containerized development is not new but Fedora Silverblue makes the whole process of local web development and setting up new containers easy.

Lastly, I should also mention that toolbox can be installed into a regular (non Silverblue) Fedora install. I hope that this article shows that it is possible to use Fedora Silverblue for developing websites locally and also transfer the finished site via SFTP so that the customer can approve and pay for another shiny new website. Thanks for reading.

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  1. I installed the abyss server but can’t start it. Can you provide the exact steps on how to load it? I use Fedora and not silver blue. Thanks 👍

    • Hi Kendal,
      I assume that you are inside the abwsx1/abyssws directory. In my case, those folders are inside the downloads directory. Right-click inside the abyssws directory and select “Open in Terminal“. With the terminal open, type: ./abyssws
      To start the server and point your browser to
      From there, you have to click START to actually start the Abyss web server. Then you can access your website by opening a second tab and use as the URL which points to your htdocs directory.

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